Betty with little Matthew a week after he joined the family.

Welcome to our home

We knew we wanted children and made the decision to adopt. When we started the process it was so exciting to think that we would be able to offer them a place in our home . . . to become part of our family!

Both of our children arrived from Central America at 5 ½ months old.

I was always a little sensitive to their health issues, however, since we had no genetic background on either one of them.

About 1 ½ years before our son was to finish college he fell ill. It seemed one thing or another.  I talked to him daily and encouraged him to see the medical staff at college. He continued to plug along so I thought it was just the long nights of studying and not eating properly that contributed to his exhaustion.
Then 3 weeks before he was to finish college he wanted to throw in the towel and just quit and come home. It broke my heart, but I encouraged him to stay since he was so close to being done. We had a long phone conversation and the next day he called me. 

“Mom, I thought about it and I am not a quitter. I’m going to do whatever it takes to finish the last weeks I have left.”

It was a sigh of relief. I talked to him a couple of times a day just to check up on his mental and physical state. He made it to the finish line and came home. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

When he finally arrived home we thought his dream job of becoming an animator was just around the corner. January 2015 we went to the Dr. and he was put on a 6 month prescription for a dermatological condition that had developed. Because of it he had to stay close to the Dr. here and could not really venture out of the area. I told him it was ok, that after the 6 months were over he could continue to find his dream job.

However, in June 2015, he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. His words were “Life is not fair to me”. Our hearts melted and we knew that we had to be strong for him.

The first surgery was performed days after the diagnosis and then it was a choice between Chemo Therapy and RPLND surgery. We did discuss this but knew that it was his body, his life and that he had to make the final decision. He elected surgery and we backed him 100%. August 2015 it was performed, and in recovery is now getting stronger every day.  His team of Doctors at the cancer center gave him a good prognosis. With active surveillance he will get blood work every 3 months and a yearly CT scan. 

I am so thankful that after all he has been through his passion for art and animation is stronger today than it has been in a long time. His words now are:  “Mom I have been sick, been told I have cancer, had 2 surgeries, now it’s time to move ahead in life and prove that whoever hires me will be glad they did”.

Here is Matt today, a survivor, pursuing his dream of a career in Animation.
Here is Matt today, a survivor, pursuing his dream of a career in Animation.

I reflect on what I have always told my children since they were little:
“Follow your dream in life – in your dream is your strength”
“Don’t compare yourself to others, you are your own person, stay grounded, stay rooted and always try to always find a positive in everyday”
“Don’t let negative things that happened in the past control how you navigate through your future”

NOTE from Ruth: I am so grateful for the love and support Betty has given her son, physically and emotionally. By encouraging him to follow his dream he will be a blessing to many. He has already blessed others us by generously sharing his talents in our animated short, SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU. See a preview of the film he helped to bring to life here:
SNY-dog cropped

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Creator, GoMommyGO®

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